York’s Fulford Arms is a quirky, eclectic, friendly and a bloody excellent venue. This show was another put together by Simon Pattinson of the rather fabulous Northern Radar. I have known Simon for quite a while now and up to now he has never let me down with any gig he has been involved with. But I guess there is always a first time. Will this be it? Well you had better read on to find out! First on stage was a young man with the clever stage name of Sundile. If you are a fan of chilled lo-fi sounds then Sundile is definitely the man for you. Whilst his Arctic Monkeys cover was good his own tunes are at times stunning. It was a shame that many people in the audience continued to talk among themselves during his set though, if that was you, then frankly you missed a good ‘un. I also felt that the sound was not at a great level for him, but I recommend checking him out.
Flooded, a York band were next, this is one powerhouse of a three-piece with what would seem to be a really eclectic taste in music. Not only are they purveyors of fine rock music with a nod to classic rock history from the 60s to now they also look like they are enjoying the hell out of what they do. I could hear the Small Faces, the Who, Oasis and Muse in there at times, but trust me this is a proper band, not a facsimile of others. The ‘About’ section on their FaceBook page says that they are ‘1 over-hyped drummer and 2 normal-ish boys from York’. Nathan Christy and Sam Curry are the two normal-ish boys, personally I reckon they veer more towards the ‘ish’ part of that. Both play bass, guitar and both of them sing too. Add the ‘over hyped’ drummer Max Mulrenan and you have a band that is a true force to be reckoned with. Mulrenan is a powerhouse of a drummer a slightly more in control Keith Moon. I will definitely be looking out for more shows by this lot!
Pura Vida are an immensely talented band with musicianship that is on a par with the best British bands. They are very hard to define from a genre perspective at times there are elements of indie blended with the softer side of prog and this seems to be underpinned by a punky attitude. Imagine, if you will, a band fronted by Johnny Marr and a less pompous Bono and backed by Echo and the Bunnymen with perhaps New Order and Joy Division producing. Can you hear that sound in your head? well that is the kind of sound that I heard. In Spanish Pura Vida means ‘pure life’ or ‘simple life’ and it is widely used in Costa Rica to describe a way of life. This band are pure rock and simply a great band. I will definitely be seeing them play live again sometime.
Headliner Cape Cub is the genius brainchild of Chad Male who hails from a small village, Marske-by-the-Sea, in north-east England. After forming Cape Cub in late 2014 his first big success came with “Swim” in 2015, he has been championed by Radio 1 and Radio X since then. He has also released some stunning music since his début. Including the staggeringly brilliant EPs from 2016; “Closer” and “6 a.m”. I am not yet too familiar with the songs but this was an awesome set, the band hit you with soft rolling sonic waves that mesmerize you as they build into small tsunamis of perfect sound. This is a band that to me sound like what Coldplay if Chris Martin’s boys were great and not just good. The sweep and depth of the songs and the emotion that they forge is incredible. The highest point of the set, and there were no low points, for me was the new single “Come Around”. You still have a chance to catch the outstanding Cape Cub live on this tour; London – Thousand Island (22nd February), Sound – Liverpool (23rd February) and Newcastle Think Tank (24th February). If there are any tickets left for these shows then you need to buy, beg, steal, borrow or whatever other activities will get you one….. keep it legal though! Cape Cub are set to play an increasing role in British music in the coming years.